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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing front, c1905. Prints and Photographs Reading Room, Library of Congress.
This post is excerpted from an article written by James Wolf, Digital Conversion Specialist, Music Division.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (named after the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge) was born in Croydon, England on August 15, 1875.  Coleridge-Taylor studied with Charles Villiers Stanford, and at the suggestion of Edward Elgar, was commissioned to write a piece for a festival in 1898. The resulting “Ballade in A Minor” was a tremendous success. A subsequent trilogy written from 1898 to 1900 and based on the story of Hiawatha secured his fame for the remainder of his life. Read more about Coleridge-Taylor here. See instrumental parts for his compositions, and listen to a recording of his “Petite suite de concert” in African-American Band Music in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia.


  1. This is an important person in the field of classical music. I first heard of him around 1962 in school. My teacher played his Hiawatha suite for the class. I later went to the library to find out more, but at that time our library was limited in informatiom about him. His contribution is overlooked and downplayed.

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